Rivers through time: the geoarchaeology of the Hampshire Avon.

Laura Basell (Contributor)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Authors: E. Egberts, L. S. Basell K. Welham, A. G. Brown, P.S. Toms
Abstract: Rivers through time: the geoarchaeology of the Hampshire Avon
Pleistocene river terraces are characteristic geomorphological features present in many river valleys and are the result of cyclic changes in fluvial system dynamics often related to climate oscillations and uplift (Blum and Törnqvist, 2000). They present a record ofQuaternary landscape evolution and global climatic change and form the depositional context of most of the Palaeolithic evidence in northwest Europe (Wymer 1999). Modelling their formation in space and time, therefore provides a four-dimensional, geochronological framework for the archaeological record and its environmental context (Brown 2008). This
paper presents the results of an extensive quartz and feldspar OSL dating program on a sequence of river terraces flanking the Hampshire Avon valley, southern England, and offers the first absolute dating of these deposits. The results allow a four-dimensional reconstruction of terrace formation and landscape evolution in this area providing a geochronological framework for the rich Palaeolithic record associated with the Avon fluvial sediments. The results demonstrate how a four-dimensional model for terrace formation is
valuable in 1) understanding the spatio-temporal processes behind fluvial terrace formation in southern England and its relation to global climatic change, 2) the fine-tuning of terrace formation models, and 3) the reconstruction of the timing of hominin presence in Britain.

Blum, M. D. and Törnqvist, T. E. (2000). Fluvial responses to climate and sea-level change:a review and look forward. Sedimentology, 47, 2-48.
Brown, A. G. (2008). Geoarchaeology,the four dimensional (4D) fluvial matrix and climatic causality. Geomorphology, 101, 278-297.
Wymer, J. (1999). The Lower Palaeolithic occupation of Britain. Volume 1. Text. Trust for Wessex Archaeology Limited, Salisbury, 234 pp.
Period03 Jan 2018
Event titleQuaternary Research Association Annual Meeting
Event typeConference
LocationPlymouth, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionNational